There has been a major advance in drug detecting technology as Uwe Christians turns over new leaves in mass spectrometry. Current urine sample tests can be misleading or simply wrong. Other tests take different types of samples, like blood, hair, saliva, and sweat. Of all the options, urine tests offer the most simple as well as being able to detect drugs in a reasonable time frame.
Christian’s original plan was to use the mass spectrometer to identify steroids and hormones in urine, he planned on marketing it to sports organizations. He found though that this was too much of a niche market. With the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado, he decided that he could put his technology to good use. In order to make the test marketable, he had to find a way to take the massive amounts of data that the machine generates, and process it into usable information. The machine is able to identify compounds in 500 different drugs, from over the counter medications, to illicit drugs.
What this means is that employers will be able to require drug tests for their employees, and this new technology can tell them more than just if they’ve taken drugs in the past week. The test will be able to tell if a person is a regular user of illegal or legal drugs. It can also identify which prescriptions a person takes, which brings concern because employers might use this information to decide if they want to hire someone with mental health issues or are casual drug users. I think this is great news because it will hold people to higher standards, and maybe help combat the rampant use of illegal drugs in America.